The Future of Drupal: Review of Drupal Camp Ottawa 2015

The Future of Drupal: Review of Drupal Camp Ottawa 2015

30 Jul

Author : Kyle Serebour, Categories : Web Site Development

Having worked with Drupal for a little under a year now, I couldn’t wait to attend my first Drupal convention. Drupal Camp Ottawa 2015 served as a great initiation to these wonderful meet-ups filled with thrilling content and interesting conferences by the community’s experts.

Overall, the convention was quite the experience! The lineup seemed to cover quite a wide range of topics, which allowed for both technical and non-technical attendees to be satisfied. It was also no surprise that one of the main focuses was Drupal 8. We got exciting sneak peeks and demos of what’s to come.

This year, the convention was held at the beautiful University of Ottawa. It was a beautiful place and the convention ran quite smoothly. We also got some excellent food…But let’s not get off topic here. We’ve got to talk Drupal!

The Wonderful World of Drupal 8 Multilingual

Given by: Suzanne Dergacheva, Co-Founder, Evolving Web

Evidently, with Drupal 8 approaching, this year’s convention just had to cover some of its cool features. This conference almost made me cry tears of joy because of how exciting it was for both developers and non-technical users.

In this conference, Suzanne Dergacheva covered the multilingual features offered in Drupal 8’s core. She showed us the 4 core modules included out-of-the-box, which are:

  • Language Handler
  • Content Translation
  • Interface Translation
  • Configuration Management

The amazing thing about these 4 modules is the fact that they do 95% of the job of the 20+ modules needed in Drupal 7. This means that there is a lot less configuration time needed to have a functional multilingual site. Many popular components are also newly translatable, like the admin interface for Views or Blocks, or Views and Blocks themselves.

One of the best new features is the ability to set the administration language per user.  This solves an irritant in the previous versions where your administration language would always be the same as the language currently set on the website. Now, you can set the admin interface language distinctly from the website’s current language, something developers and content editors alike will love.

A great conference overall giving us a good idea of what to expect in terms of multilingual configuration in Drupal 8. The best part about it was the demo given by Suzanne along the way, properly showing us how quickly and smoothly we can pump out a multilingual site in Drupal 8.

Planning a real-life Drupal 8 Migration

Given by: Ryan Weal, President/Lead Developer, Kafei Interactive Inc. & Novella Chiechi

With Drupal 8, site owners and developers are considering upgrades and migrations. In this conference, Ryan Weal and Novella Chiechi outlined the main process of migrating content to a Drupal 8 installation, as well as things to consider along the way. This conference was designed to give a taste of what a migration might consist of in the near future.

One of the main points outlined in this conference is the fact that developers are actively working on a Migration module for Drupal 8 specifically made to migrate content from previous Drupal versions to the new one. In fact, we’ve already come quite far, since Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration functionality has been completed. They’ve already began working on getting the Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 migration functionality up and running.


Additionally, Ryan and Novella mentioned the importance of client implication when planning migrations. They defined the importance of communicating closely with the client during each stage of the migration to make sure that all content is properly migrated. A good example they mentioned was to send the client a spreadsheet of all old content types and their respective fields, as well as all of the new content types and fields and showing where every piece of content goes. This assures that you only have to run one migration and that you don’t leave any content behind or put content in the wrong place.

Firms need to prepare themselves for numerous migrations during this transition period, especially for clients still running websites in Drupal 6.

The Future of Media Management and what’s Available Today

Given by: Devin Carlson, Drupal Distributions Engineer, Acquia

If we have to be really honest, Media Management in Drupal 7 has been quite the challenge. This conference, however, showcases the major improvements to media management in Drupal and its future in Drupal 8. The best part is that we don’t have to wait for Drupal 8 to take advantage of these improvements.

Devin Carlson makes it known that a unified media module for Drupal 8 is in progress and will be ready for release and included into the core installation. However, he also shows that there is a Drupal 7 version that can already be used; this module is called Entity Embed.

Media will henceforth be stored in Media Entities, which makes it easier to manage and add into WYSIWYG editors. Furthermore, you will be able to add a button to the WYSIWYG editor for each type of media entity (photo, gallery, video, etc). It makes it a lot easier to manage media on your Drupal website.

This conference had great news for both developers and editors alike. Media functionality is a very popular feature used on a large percentile of websites today, and it’s good to hear that most of the irritants will be resolved in time for Drupal 8’s release.

10 New Things You Can Do with Drupal 8 Out-of-the-Box

Given by: Suzanne Dergacheva, Co-Founder, Evolving Web

Many have already gotten the chance to play around in the beta version of Drupal 8 currently available on Drupal’s main website and take a gander at what’s to come. In this conference, Suzanne Dergacheva outlined 10 features that Drupal 8 can do straight out-of-the-box without the need for additional external modules. Some of these features are really getting some developers and editors excited, since they can cut down on a lot of installation and configuration time. Here’s a look at some of the features that you can look forward to.

  • Core Multilingual Modules
  • Responsive Admin Themes (All of Drupal 8’s admin themes are responsive)
  • Core module cleanup (No more Overlay module!)
  • And more!

Onward to 2016!

There we have it! This was only a taste of what Drupal Camp Ottawa 2015 had to offer us this year. In a nutshell, it was a great convention and it gave us a vision of where we’re headed. It was nice to see the community sharing their interests and getting ready for the big step forward. This is looking to be a fruitful year for Drupal.

Tags : drupal, Drupal Camp, site web

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